The pandemic has delivered a lingering, and possibly permanent, hit to business travel that is likely to weigh on employment and economic growth in some communities for years. Beyond the blows to airlines, hotels, travel agents and rental-car companies, the drop in business travel is rippling through whole ecosystems of related commerce, including airport shops, downtown bars and restaurants, construction companies building convention stages, entertainers and taxi drivers. The U.S.
Travel Association says domestic and international business travelers directly spent $334.2 billion in 2019, supporting 2.5 million jobs.
The International Energy Agency says a resurgence of Covid-19 cases and fresh lockdowns are weighing on oil consumption and slowing a rebound in demand. The IEA today cut its forecast for demand in 2021 by 280,000 barrels a day to 5.5 million barrels a day.